The thing that really got me about the WWoHP was the lack of characters. I mean, you expect to see characters in a theme park, right? Either actual people wearing suits and walking around like Mickey and Minne Mouse do at Disney, or at the very least lots of merchandise with the character's images.
There is nothing like that at the WWoHP, which might be why it's called the Wizarding World, instead of Harry Potter World. It's clearly meant to make you feel like you are walking around in a world that really exists, not that you are walking around in a world dedicated to the characters.
There are plenty of souvenirs for sale. I did see a few t-shirts with characters on them, but shockingly few. One stuffed white owl puppet that could have been Hedwig, but then again she probably wasn't the only white owl, right? Pretty much everything jived exactly with what you'd expect to see if you really did go to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts. They sold a lot of t-shirts and hoodies with each of the four houses on them, and notebooks with the Hogwarts crest, and candy items in Honeyduke's and jokey items and toys in Wonko's. There is absolutely no reference to Voldemort himself, or any of the specific teachers, and only minor references to Harry, Hermione and Ron.
And that, above everything else, was what really got to me.
Knowing nothing at all about the planning process, I'm going to go ahead and just assume that I can give JK Rowling all of the credit. I mean, you know that Universal must have wanted to sell stuffed Voldemort dolls and have employees dressed up as house elves, right? I'm just going to imagine a big conference room in London where JK yelled at them and told them how it would be! And I'm also going to assume that she did it just for her readers, so they'd have a place to go and experience the books, not the commercialization.
In other words, I think she made it just for me. And it is perfect.
After the little intro movie, if you click on Hogsmeade, you can see just what it looks like HERE (this is even the same Hogwarts Express engineer guy we saw) and/or click on Hogwarts.
And... now I'm finished. :)
WWoHP Part One: In Which We Park The Car And Walk For Miles
WWoHP Part Two: In Which We Actually Get There